- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 13, 2015

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - To keep state buildings from falling into disrepair - as some have, including the Texas School for the Deaf - lawmakers have voted to establish a deferred maintenance fund and oversight committee.

Sponsored by Tyler Republican Sen. Kevin Eltife, the bill authorizing the fund cleared the House on Wednesday via a voice vote.

It needs only a final lower chamber vote before heading to Gov. Greg Abbott for signature into law.

Under the bill, the lieutenant governor and House speaker would each appoint three members to the committee.

The measure’s House sponsor, Rep. Charlie Geren, said the committee would ensure sufficient funding - including $20.6 million already earmarked for deferred maintenance and emergency repairs needed starting this year - is spent “the way they’re supposed to be spending it.”

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